I live in New Jersey, so the mandated reporter statute consists of any individual who has reasonable suspicion of child abuse, or neglect is required by law to contact the NJ child abuse hotline (1877 NJ ABUSE), DCF’s Child Protection and Permanency (CP&P), or local authorities. Failure to do so will result in the person will be convicted of a disorderly person charge. The report must contain names, and addresses of the guardian/parent and child, the child’s age (if known), a description of the child’s injuries, neglect or abuse, any evidence of injuries, and any information that will assist in the apprehension of the perpetrator.
Anyone acting pursuant to the New Jersey statute section 3 of P.L.1971, c. 437 (C. 9:6-8.10) will have immunity from any criminal or civil liability, even regarding testimony given in court regarding the report. If a person reports in good faith and is discriminated against or discharged from employment due to the report, they are entitled to file a cause of action for compensation in the family section of the chancery division of the superior court in the county where the discrimination occurred. If the court finds that there was discrimination, the individual shall have a reinstatement of employment, back pay, and any legal relief as granted by the court.
As a medical professional, it is my duty to advocate for the patients under my care. In the case of children, if I suspect a case of neglect or abuse, the division of child protective services is immediately contacted, and a report is filed. They record the incident and come to the facility to question the guardians, parents, or children. Furthermore, the local police are also contacted since the local authorities must be notified. When a child comes to the ER with severe injuries or signs of neglect, the medical staff must call child protective services to begin an investigation.